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Curious client


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So I'm inspecting a new construction yesterday, have the main panel cover off and explaining to the client about the AFCI breakers and etc. When he lays his finger on the live buss, and says can more circuit breakers go in here? Fournately for him he was wearing shoes with rubber or well insulated soles or I might have had to try and remember my last CPR training!! Gotta keep looking over your shoulder all the time.

Robert E Lee

GENERAL Home Inspections, Inc

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Never allow anyone, other than an occasional realtor, to stand near you when an electrical panel is open with exposed live parts. If he had completed the circuit he could have begun jumping and flailing. During the course of all this he could have made physical contact with you and you both could have had the last dance.

NORM

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If my memory serves me; in the late 80's a potential buyer was electrocuted when reaching over the inspector's arm in a similiar situation. I think it was in NJ. I have grabbed more than one buyer in that situation and it was the reason I walked away from an inspection when a young atty repeatedly did it.

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I was taught, early on, if you are present when someone has completed the circuit between live and ground don't attempt to grab the person in order to free him/her lest you become an integral part of the equation. Rather, grab the closest non-conductive material, such as a 2 x 4, and try to separate him/her from the source.

NORM SAGE

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This is only sort of related, but the thread made me think back this. My hard had saved my life ten years ago.

I was superintendent on a 100 unit apt complex, and it was the dead of winter. It was just colder than blue blazes one morning during a blizzard, and no one was on the jobsite except me. I was hiding out in the job trailer with the space heater.

The local electrical utility truck pulled up, and the guy started working on the transformer for the building. He was working on pulling conductors to the transformer or something, I really don't remember. What I do remember is that I decided to be a nice guy and help him before I left and went home for the day. He needed to dig down along the transformer pad for something, and the ground is frozen for several months during winter around here. I got out our electric concrete chipping hammer and started chipping away frozen earth with him, in about 3 degrees, and blowing snow.

Now I don't remember the specific details, but the transformer was live, and the door was open. I was leaning forward, working this chpping hammer, and God bless me, I still had my hard hat on. I slipped when the chipping hammer slipped, and I fell head first into the transformer. The hardhad stopped me from making contact with the terminals. He grabbed me by the back of my clothes and yanked me out of there, and I looked at him and he had eyes as big as dinner plates.

Now obviously there's many things that could have/should have been done differently. But I guess my point was... Gee, what was my point? [^] Ok, I didn't have one. But I like to tell that story, because hard hats do save lives, even when you're not using the gray matter underneath them. [b)]

Don't let them near the panel.

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Another dumb client story...

I few years ago I was doing an inspection for an IBM engineer. Attic inspection time arrived and I pulled down the attic stairway and climbed up. The house had a high roof so there was lots of headroom and it was easy to get around.

The attic was not floored and as I stepped from framing member to framing member, the voice behind me said "Can I come too?". I turned to the see engineer step off the stairway onto the bare sheetrock ceiling above the garage. I yelled and he stepped back onto the framing. We were both lucky that day.

An engineering degree doesn't confer commom sense. Watch them clients!

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Hi Paul,

Virtually the same thing happened to me about 7 years ago with a Vietnamese client. I climbed into the attic and was just straigtening up and about to start moving through when I realized someone was standing behind me. I turned around and there was the client, all 85 or so pounds of him, standing on top of the blown-in on the drywall between two trusses. I said, "Freeze!" and the guy locked up but didn't know what to do. "Put your hands and arms like this," I commanded, locking my upper arms and elbows to my side and grasping both hands tightly in front of my chest. He still didn't know what was going on, but he complied. "Now, don't move. Stay stiff!" I told him as I stepped around behind him, picked him up by his elbows and then set him down on the framing around the hatch. Then I explained to him what had almost happened and asked him to remain where he was or get out of the attic. He climbed back down, looking a little sheepish. I was just glad I didn't have to shell out a bunch of bucks to have a ceiling repaired. I was pretty thankful he wasn't a big husky Irishman or I might have had to call for an ambulance, besides paying to fix a ceiling.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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